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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
House of Pain

"Presidential Campaign-Free Week" continues...

Thoughts on the World Series tonight.

We can do match-ups or who has the better pitching staff or experience or... we can just look at karma.

I think karma can explain alot about sports. Fans certainly think so, they wear lucky jerseys or what not to games or have particular pre-game rituals thinking if they wear cheese ont heir heads their team will win. Generally they are right. Let's look at the Red Sox. By selling the game's greatest player to the Yankees, they violated karma and earned themselves 80+ years in purgatory. To earn themselves back in good graces and to start winning themselves some World Series titles, they had to come back from 3-0 against theose Yankees in 2004. Now they're a dynasty or were until ran into Tampa Bay.

Look at the Arizona Cardinals. A while back, in the blown-away archives "The Frogurt is also Cursed," I stated that with the new stadium and high expectations that the Arizona Cardinals would only bring us pain because they are owned by the Bidwells. Has my theory been proven wrong?

Look at the Cubs. For decades they have milked the "lovable loser" motif and sold Wrigley as a place to go catch some rays and drink beer ( a great place for both.) Now in the last few years they have tried to build a decent team, spending good money on payroll, decent farm system... all it's earned them consecutive first round sweeps.

Dodgers... great team for decades. What have they done since the O'Malley's sold the team?

I could go on.

So based on karma, who can we expect to win?

On one hand we have Tampa Bay which plays in one of the most hideous stadium in all of professional sports. The funny thing the region has used its attractive demographics and that same hideous stadium to position itself as a bargaining chip so other teams could choke stadium deals out of their own cities. It was amusing watching the Rays play the White Sox because the ChiSox used the Tampa Bay area to extort their own hideous stadium out of their local taxpayers.

Also the Rays have been a cosmic joke of a franchise. For years they built a roster out of retreads and fading stars (Vinny Castilla? Jose Canseco?) and traded good young talent for a bag of beans (Bobby Abreu for Kevin Stocker.) Yeah our D'backs are their expansion twins and we had those awful purple uniforms but we also have a Series ring and 4 division titles; in fact it took so long for the Rays to have a winning season that the D'backs built one contender, tore it down, and have built another in all the same time.

So now after all these years, Tampa was so bad that my kids's Little League team this year was the Devil Rays because the coach said everyone wants the names of the good or popular teams like the Cubs or Yankees, why not throw a little love to the pereneial losers?

So finally this year it comes together with a good young team, built the right way, and not only do they enjoy their first winning season but get to go to the World Series in the same year.


Tampa Bay has been in the league for 11 seasons, the Phillies have been for 129 seasons. They have the most losses of any team in baseball, passing 10,000 last year. It's a city rich with disappointment and bitterness, after all people leave Philly all the time for Tampa, nobody is ever moving the other way. This is a city that suffered through the Eric Lindros-era, watched the Eagles lose three straight NFC championship games only to gag against the Patriots int he Super Bowl, and trade Charles Barkley for a bag of stale donuts.

Did I mention I grew up in the era and a lifelong fan of all Philly sports?

The Phillies are well-constructed. Good pitching, an outstanding bullpen, and one heck of an infield. Good solid citizens, brought up through the system, that has not only paid its dues the last few years but did our nation a service by stopping the Mets from reaching the playoffs. This is a team whose time is now, in fact the whole city is due. Justice damnds.

So based on the karmic factor, who's going to win?

The Rays in 5. Philly is cursed man, I told you I grew up there.